Monday, August 11, 2014

Two tier government structure most likely to get the majority votes

As discussions on Chapters 1 and 2 of the constitutional draft is officially closed by the Constituent Assembly (CA),  a reliable source has said that, a two tier government structure has been proposed by all CA committees formed. The Chairperson who leads CA committee No. 1 Ummy Mwalimu disclosed on Thursday this week when briefing journalists the deliberations reached by her committee members in Chapters  3 and 4 currently in discussions by the CA. She said what the CA is waiting to do with chapters 1 and 2 is the voting process by all CA members scheduled in early September depending on the completion of other Chapters. Currently, the CA which resumed its sessions on Tuesday this week is discussing the remaining 15 Chapters of the draft to be finished within 60 days which President Jakaya Kikwete had issued. The first two Chapters, whose discussions consumed more time during the first phase before adjournment of the CA sessions brought a mutual of misunderstanding among members in the CA after the majority of CCM members wanted a two tier government system. Others who formed a group of the so-called coalition of defenders of people’s constitution known in its Kiswahili acronym ‘Ukawa’ opposed to the idea. They instead based on what was proposed in the draft by the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) as people’s views who wants a three tier government structure. Ukawa group ultimately decided to walk out of the debating chamber leaving the majority CCM members who is currently going on with the process. They recently made a declaration not to return back to the CA. In her briefings for Chapters 3 and 4 Ummy said that, her committee has proposed for a new chapter to be formed in the draft that would deal with issues of farmers and livestock keepers in the country. 

The Minister of State in Vice-President’s office Ummy Mwalimu

The decision by the committee members has come after having realized that in the draft presented by the CRC, the issue of farmers and livestock keepers was not adequately elaborated bearing the fact that there are numerous cases of land issues in the country. Presenting their proposals, Ummy noted that, there is a need to prepare a new chapter that would elaborate land issue into details as it touches most rural Tanzanians by adding more provisions that would address it properly. She also noted that, the provision which talks about the freedom of worship, her committee members unanimously agreed to leave it as such. However, she added that, there should have been a government institution which should directly be concerned with the registration of the religious institutions and nothing else. Unlike today, the chairperson elaborated that, there is a mushrooming of religious institutions operating in the country which have no authentic registration status. So by having a single unified government body this would help have an overall control of the establishment of such institutions in the country. She also noted that, within Chapters No. 3 and 4 of the draft of constitution among the hot issues the committee came across is the issue of freedom of media organizations. With this, her committee has proposed that media organization would continue doing their work more freely so that important information should reach the unprivileged groups notably people with disabilities in rural areas in the country. Earlier, Ummy who is also a Minister of State in Vice-President’s office affirmed that, in her committee they have a total of 53 members out of which 33 comes from Tanzania mainland while the rest are from Zanzibar.

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